Four local open-water swimmers earn SEA Games nomination

Benedict Boon competes in the 1500m freestyle heats at the National Swimming Championships on 21 March 2015.
Benedict Boon competes in the 1500m freestyle heats at the National Swimming Championships on 21 March 2015.PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - The Republic could see representation in the open-water swimming event at the Aug 19-31 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, after six local swimmers met the SEA Games 'A' qualifying time yesterday.

The Liberty Insurance Open Water South-East Asian Qualifiers were held at the Constant Wind Sea Sports and Sailing School in Changi and consisted of a 10,000m swim, an event which will be contested at the biennial Games.

Benedict Boon, Erasmus Ang, Chantal Liew, Chin Khar Yi, Herlene Yu and Genevieve Lye met the A cut timings of 2hr 15min 29.8sec (men's) and 2:38:47.39 (women's).

The top two male and female swimmers were nominated to the Singapore National Olympic Council to represent the Republic at the biennial Games.

Boon, 21, and 18-year-old Erasmus were the two fastest male swimmers with timings of 2:12:24.8 and 2:13:02.4 respectively.

The two fastest female finishers were 18-year-old Chantal (2:31:36.4) and 19-year-old Khar Yi (2:33:13.5).

Herlene and Genevieve, both 16, clocked 2:37 and 2:34:35 respectively.

The open-water swim was last held at the 2011 Games in Palembang. Then, Singapore bagged a bronze medal in the 5,000m through Brandon Boon, Benedict's older brother.

Organised by the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) and Liberty Insurance, yesterday's qualifiers saw 16 swimmers take part.

SSA president Lee Kok Choy congratulated the top four swimmers for attaining SEA Games nomination.

"Open-water swimming is extremely challenging, and requires significant courage, determination and willpower to compete across 10km," he said.

"We are impressed by the challenge put up by all the long-distance swimmers here today. It was a tough swim and I'd like to congratulate each and every participant for finishing the race.

"The association will work closely with the coaches to support the athletes as they train and prepare for the upcoming SEA Games."